Acoustically superb, Jordan Hall is the heart and soul of New England Conservatory and is central to the musical life of New England, with performances by the world's leading soloists and ensembles interspersed with NEC recitals and concerts. The hall has been an obligatory stop on the international concert circuit from Jacques Thibaud and Harold Bauer in 1903 to Gil Shaham and Thomas Quasthoff today.
In April 1994, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt bestowed National Historic Landmark status jointly on New England Conservatory and on its premier concert hall, Jordan Hall. NEC was the first music school in the nation to receive the distinction of such a dual designation.
The landmark designation came after a thorough review by the National Park Service, at the end of which NEC was deemed meritorious for its presence and influence in American music, its consistent engagement in broadening the appeal of music, and its historic status as an unaffiliated, independent school of music. The role of Jordan Hall in the execution of NEC's mission was specifically cited:
"Much of what has come to be identified with New England Conservatory of Music over the years has come about because of Jordan Hall. … The overriding principle guiding New England Conservatory of Music from its inception until today has been to maintain traditions of music while venturing out to create the new."
Jordan Hall opened October 20, 1903, at a construction cost of $120,000, with trustee Eben D. Jordan, 2nd, as benefactor; the architect was Wheelwright and Haven. Its first major restoration conducted May–October 1995, at cost of $8.2 million, as a primary goal of $25 million "Music from the Source" fundraising campaign.
Post-restoration awards include: 1996 Massachusetts Historical Commission Preservation Award, the Victorian Society in America's Preservation Commendation, the 1996 Boston Preservation Alliance Award, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America Award of Merit, and the Illuminating Engineering Society 1996 Lumen Award.
Centennial celebrations in October 2003 marked the launch of $100 million "Gift of Music" fundraising campaign.
Jordan Hall has a total audience capacity of 1, 051, with 989 permanent seats, and 8 wheelchair positions and 24 companion spaces. The stage is 40' wide (46' near proscenium) by 29' deep. A stage extension can be installed to increase the depth to 36' or 38'. The stage is raked at a ratio of 1" per 8.
Brown Hall is a true multi-purpose space, used for large ensemble rehearsals, student and faculty recitals of all kinds, opera scenes, meetings, dinners, receptions, and other events. Performances can take place on the stage at one end of the room or on the floor, with great flexibility of instrument placement and seating configurations. At its maximum capacity, including floor and a small balcony, Brown Hall seats 500.
Williams Hall is NEC’s main solo recital hall, as well as the venue for master classes and studio classes. The seating capacity of the hall's floor and balcony is 220, but its lack of fixed floor seating also allows it to be used for large ensemble rehearsals, meetings, and other functions.
The Keller Room is used primarily for student recitals, master classes, and sectional rehearsals. The room has no stage, so performers share the floor with up to 100 seats, creating an intimate and informal feel.
Donor generosity has allowed NEC to transform a neglected recital hall in NEC's St. Botolph building into Harold Whitworth Pierce Hall: a new, state-of-the-art performance space with superb acoustics, flexible layout and lighting, and multimedia presentation capabilities. The hall seats up to 100.
NEW ENGLAND CONSERVATORY CONCERTS
Most New England Conservatory concerts are free, and no tickets are required. Concerts and events which require tickets are so noted in the Concert Calendar. (Jordan Hall events not produced by NEC generally do require tickets.)
Every year, NEC’s opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre or Paramount Center in Boston, and a semi-staged performance in Jordan Hall.
Numerous outreach events take place at non-traditional audiences in schools, hospitals, and nursing homes.
The Box Office, which is open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday through Friday and 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Saturdays, is located at 30 Gainsborough Street, in the lobby of Jordan Hall. The Box Office is also open 1.5 hours before the start of any ticketed Jordan Hall performance for sale of that event only. All sales are final.
For more information and for ticket sales, please call (617) 585-1260.